The FIA WEC field for Friday’s 1000 Miles of Sebring has been reduced to 36 cars. The heavy shunt in Free Practice 2 for the No. 88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR 19 left the car damaged beyond repair, and the team with no choice but to withdraw the car from the remainder of the meeting.
The No. 88, driven by Harry Tincknell, Ryan Hardwick and Zacharie Robichon, hit a concrete block head-on at high speed after contact with the Cadillac Racing V-Series.R of Richard Westbrook, resulting in a lengthy red flag.
The contact between Westbrook and Hardwick occurred in the braking zone to the hairpin, Westbrook moving across on the Porsche while trying to take the racing line, clipping the front of the Porsche with the rear of his V-Series.R. Thankfully Hardwick walked away from the hit unscathed.
“It’s a real shame,” a disappointed Hardwick told RACER after the session. “We had a really good program going here. Proton has a spare car but it’s in Europe so we can’t use it this weekend. The chassis was broken by the impact. We hope to be back at Portimao.”
By missing Sebring, the No. 88’s 2023 FIA WEC program is likely to be reduced to just three races, as RACER understands that the car is unlikely to continue after Le Mans in June. Proton is believed to be planning to scale back its GTE Am effort to a single car once it begins competing with the Hypercar class Porsche 963 it has ordered.